Redlining contracts is an essential aspect of the contract process for sales professionals and their clients. However, back in the day, the redlining of contracts meant physically acquiring a paper document, picking up a red pen, and marking up requested changes before sending it back to the customer or partner by (what felt like) a carrier pigeon. Beginning in the early ‘90s, the new process involved sending a contract in Microsoft Word, with tracked changes, and followed by the creation of countless versions sent back and forth via email, oftentimes getting lost in the shuffle or creating confusion about which version of the document was most current.
Through the evolution of technology, the creation of automation tools has finally allowed professionals to capture contract changes electronically — providing an efficient way to improve the contract signing process. And, according to Aberdeen, contract approval time is reduced by 82% with the integration of contract automation.
To put it simply: Contract automation puts the contract negotiation and editing process on autopilot. After the original document is uploaded into OnTask, the owner can send it to the appropriate person who can suggest changes without ever needing to download the document (100% secured online). The receiver can then make edits within the automation software, which assures both document security and accuracy. Depending on company processes, the appropriate approvals can be built into the workflow making sure no additional emails need to be sent externally from the software.
Not sold yet? Here are three game-changing benefits to implementing contract automation:
- Keep It Movin’: Streamline the Contract Redlining Process
The average worker receives 121 emails a day. Reading and replying to all 121 emails is an undeniable waste of time. On top of this, redlining contracts without automation creates countless back and forth email chains, flooding employees’ inboxes and slowing down the approval process. With automation, the appropriate user (customer, legal team, etc.) is automatically notified that it’s their turn to review the contract.By utilizing contract automation, the entire approval process is simplified – steps are eliminated, time is saved, and human errors are dramatically reduced. Naturally, salespeople are still required to negotiate contract details, but with contract automation, they can say goodbye to long hours of writing and modifying contracts for each individual client.
- Dot Your I’s & Cross Your T’s: Reduce Human Error
Silly mistakes can lead to serious risk. Manually processing contracts opens the door for an abundance of employee “uh-ohs.” When the contract manually moves through various departments and email chains, it becomes especially difficult to keep track of the most up to date and accurate contract. For example, if you have a contract worth $100,000 and you send three versions out for signature, you could be in some serious trouble – not to mention embarrassed.With contract automation, the risk of human error is significantly reduced because the contract lives within an automated workflow. For example, having an automation software will ensure the latest contract language is incorporated in the most recent template, eliminating the risk of liability due to human error. Additionally, Sales reps always know which version of the document is current. Throughout the process, sales reps can easily see a history of contract versions as well as check the status of the contract on their dashboard and easily spot any bottlenecks.
- Stay in Sync: Integrate with CRM
Managing multiple software modules can lead to major gridlock in any organization. Many businesses juggle different digital systems for contract management, jumping between platforms when uploading, sending and signing contracts. With an automation partner like OnTask, sales reps can sync final contracts across all systems – integrating directly with their CRM to offer a seamless flow of information. Companies can save time as data moves effortlessly in and out of their system of record without the worry of manual updates.
Contract redlining is a tedious aspect of the negotiation process, but it’s necessary and valuable when working to create long-standing relationships with clients. Contract automation takes the headache out of contract redlining, adding security and control to the process and allowing sales teams to focus on what they do best – landing the sale.